The complicated journey towards identity as a gay Canadian man of colour

11 07 2017

Man, it’s really been a while since I’ve posted. Here’s a quick post about my newest piece, a personal essay about figuring out how to reconcile a tri-cultural identity.

Any thoughts or comments? Post below!

Source: The complicated journey towards identity as a gay Canadian man of colour

It’s finally here!

26 03 2015

I should have a picture of it, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet, so you’ll all just have to believe me. The latest copy of Ricepaper is out now, featuring a personal essay I wrote titled “Cold War”! Yay! Now the world will finally know how awful sexual racism is. Grr argh.

But in the meantime, yay!

Making myself depressed

22 06 2014

Why does this happen when I write? It usually happens when I write personal essays, so maybe it’s the topics that I choose that inevitably lead me to write about such depressing topics. I’m writing an essay at the moment about how I’ve always found myself to be the lone gay person in the room and challenging the notion of the one in ten. When I read up on statistics of demographics of the gay population, that was pretty sad.

I seem to like to do that. I wonder if I like making myself sad, if I’m self-masochistic like that. When my memoir comes out, it’s going to be such a depressing read. Warning you all now.

The Art of Giving Feedback

7 03 2014

Right: I felt that this piece was very honest. There were a few moments where I felt like the author wasn’t looking on the other side, though.

Wrong: This piece has the illusion of authenticity and honesty.

Someone told me in class today that my person essay had “the illusion of authenticity”, which probably wasn’t the most tactful and useful way to phrase what I think she meant. So for all you out there wondering how to give feedback, be very careful. Hey, maybe I should make a guide and blog about that, especially since I have nothing else to write about these days.

Finishing a personal essay

23 02 2014

Well, first of all, writing a personal essay is difficult. More difficult than writing an academic essay, by far. Yes, I love writing creative non-fiction, and yes, I do enjoy writing personal essays, but man, it’s tiring and mentally exhausting and can be veeeeerrryy loooooooong. Sometimes that works to my advantage because I often tend to write a lot, but that makes editing difficult too. This essay turned out to be just over 4,000 words, which I think is the longest personal essay I’ve written so far. Definitely the longest in the class so far.

But when you finish writing it — oh, such relief. Well, it’s more like resignation, but after an hour or two, you really realize that you accomplished a pretty big feat, and yeah, I deserve props and acknowledgement for that. Now if you excuse me, I’m going to watch the new season of The Amazing Race with my mommy and tell her what I accomplished today.


Writing difficult/emotional stuff

21 02 2014

I’m in the process of writing a personal essay about feeling left behind, specifically when it comes to love. I’m about more than halfway done, but it has been really difficult, at times, to write about it. Part of it is having to sit down and analyze such sad experiences and to think not just why I feel the way I feel, but also explaining why and how sad I am. It can be emotionally exhausting, and more than once tonight, while writing, I’ve had to calm myself from bursting into tears.

Maybe that’s when you know you’re onto something good — when you cry. It could just be because you’re writing personal details, but I think there’s something more. At least with me, when I’ve written something while nearly crying, to me, it means there’s something powerful there, something that could potentially make others cry. And since I’ve made it my goal to make others cry and feel as sad as I have felt (yes, how sadistic of me), that’s certainly a good measure of success. Don’t you think?

My writing song: “Sweet Disposition” — Temper Trap

13 03 2013

While doing research for my personal essay a couple weeks back, I scoured youtube trying to find clips from (500) Days of Summer when I came across this song, which was used in the film.  Upon listening to it, instead of becoming distracted and listening to the song like I usually do when music plays, I suddenly became productive, writing furiously until the song finished.

Needless to say, I put the song on repeat throughout the night as I wrote.

It has somehow become my writing song, able to get me writing and writing with few pauses to think.  I’m not sure what it is.  Maybe I’m just lulled by the familiar bass line throughout, or the simple melody.  Whatever it is, thank god I stumbled onto this.  It’ll come in handy when I’ll be procrastinating and desperately writing my last paper in two weeks.

Submission No. 3 of the month

16 02 2013

The scene: me at my laptop, tearing at my skin and yelling in anxiety and frustration at Microsoft Word for suddenly putting in borders in the creative non-fiction story I have to read over, format, and send off to subTerrain magazine before the post office closes.  It was a mad scene, complete with sprinting to and from the kitchen to find appropriate-sized envelopes, and wondering loudly how big a SASE should be (I went with a regular sized envelope).  It was only as I was preparing to leave that my mother inconveniently told me that the post office closed at 5 or 6.


Nevertheless, I submitted my personal essay on the ridiculousness of Craigslist gay personal ads to subTerrain, which is my third submission so far this month.  I think I’m doing a good job (I have to say that because no one else will say that), and I have plans to submit a couple more pieces to other publications soon.  We’ll see what happens!

Also, I was reading through a back-issue of subTerrain and saw that one of my English professors, Peter Babiak, at Langara College had a piece in there, which was pretty cool (unless it’s a different Peter Babiak who also happens to be a writer in Vancouver).